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“Fate Managed to Bring Us Back Together”: Director Andrew Ahn | Spa Night

Spa Night

In every film, there is the story that you knew you were telling, the story the audience perceives. But there is always some other story, a secret story. It might be the result of your hidden motivations for making the film, or, instead, the result of themes that only became clear to you after you made the movie. It might be something very personal, or it might be a story you didn’t even know you were telling. What is your film’s secret story?

After two weeks of shooting with one week left to go, my lead actor Joe Seo injured his knee playing soccer on our off-day. His knee was the size of a cantaloupe; he could take a step or two, but needed crutches to walk. My DP Ki Jin Kim and I went through our shot list and re-strategized, choosing to shoot the majority of Joe’s coverage in close-ups (I’m glad Joe didn’t injure his face!). For other shots, I served as Joe’s body double, walking through Koreatown and spas wearing his clothes. I happen to be the same height and pants size as Joe. This is just another example of how personal this film is for me. As much as I wanted to distance myself from my main character through the creative process, fate managed to bring us back together.

[PREMIERE SCREENING: Sunday, January 24 at 3:15pm — Library Center Theatre]

Sundance Responses 2016

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